Tom Rob Smith thriller tops chart

Tom Rob Smith thriller tops chart

Tom Rob Smith scores his first UK Top 50 number one with the paperback of his latest thriller, The Farm.

In the seven days ending 21st February, the novel sold 14,962 copies climbing 12 places and gaining 75% in volume terms on the previous week. The thriller, a standalone following the final instalment of Smith's Child 44 series, gave the author his best seven day sales tally since the paperback of Child 44 sold 17,821 copies in a single week (week ending 28th February) back in 2009. Its success also gives publisher Simon & Schuster its first number one on the Top 50 in nearly two years.

Across the Top 50, volume was up 11.5% compared with the same week in 2014 but sales were more spread out across a wider range of titles. This time last year, four titles including bestseller The Cuckoo's Calling (Sphere) and Kate Atkinson's Life After Life (Black Swan) each sold in excess of 15,000 copies a piece in the same week. None of the Top 10 selling titles last week crossed that figure and volume sales of the Top 10 titles combined (119,609) is down 11% year on year with a much higher number of titles-31 compared to 22 in the same week last year-selling between five and 13,000 copies.

The value of the Top 50 was up too, worth £1.9m; over £264,000 more than in the same week in 2014 (up 16%). Altogether 11 titles in the Top 50 chart including American Sniper (HarperCollins, 10,632 copies), Egmont's Blockopedia (3,824) and Harlan Coben's Missing You (Orion, 12,856 copies) contributed £50,000 or more to the TCM last week compared with just seven titles last year. Across the TCM, sales were up for a fifth consecutive week year on year taking £22.5m, up 0.5% on the same week last year.

After a three week dry-spell, Children's books return to the Top 10 with the paperback of David Walliams' Demon Dentist (HarperCollins, 10,317 copies) and Jacqueline Wilson's The Butterfly Club (Doubleday Children's) climbing to ninth and 10th spots respectively. Walliams' latest paperback has now sold 16,734 copies from its publication week, up 22% in volume compared with sales of Ratburger over the same two week period last year.

Wilson's latest standalone novel is off to a softer start than 2014's Opal Plumstead. With 16,141 copies sold from publication week to date, sales of The Butterfly Club are down by 15.5% over its first fortnight (excluding sales ahead of publication) compared with Opal but that novel was published just before Christmas gifting got underway. Second week sales for The Butterfly Club were much stronger than Opal's… however; the novel sold 10,272 copies last week, up 75% on its debut chart week.

In Original Fiction, Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train (Doubleday) scores its fifth week at the top and becomes the first hardback novel in over 12 months to spend at least four consecutive weeks at the top with sales exceeding 10,000 weekly copies.

Jessie Keane's Dangerous (Macmillan) and Dilly Court's A Place Called Home (Arrow) may seem like unlikely literary bedfellows but both novels feature young girls protecting even younger children from threatening adult vices and mis-treatment in London. Both novels climb this week on the Original Fiction chart and the Mass Market Fiction charts, selling 2,121 copies and 10,010 copies respectively.

In Non-fiction Tanya Burr becomes the fourth blogger (after Jack Monroe, Alfie Deyes and Ella Woodward) over the last twelve months to score a number one Non-fiction hit. Love, Tanya (Penguin) trade places at the top with Woodward's Deliciously Ella (Yellow Kite) in the hardback charts selling 12,388 copies, up 62% week on week.